Best Female Performer: And booby trick

Pam the Funkstress

After watching the indie documentary Scratch, you might come away with two utterly misguided conclusions: a) Q-Bert really is having sonic dialogues with aliens from Jupiter, and b) There are no females slinging wax in the Bay. Not so, either one. In fact, in the last six years, Bay Area hip-hop has seen a new wave of hot female DJs — and if you ask any of them who their role models are, they’ll invariably give props to Pam the Funkstress. Pam has been performing with the Oakland hip-hop outfit the Coup since its 1994 debut album, Kill My Landlord, but she also holds it down solo, and frequently backs the old school pimpalicious duo Conscious Daughters. Though not nearly as vociferously anti-status quo as the group’s frontman Boots Riley, Pam is, arguably, the Coup member you would most hope to be stranded on a desert island with. The Funkstress is known for rock-solid skills on the ones and twos, but her specialty is the breast cut, which she pioneered at a Zulu DJ battle in 1996 (yeah, it’s exactly what you think it is). Onstage, Pam might speak less than her brethren, but she has been known to steal the spotlight.

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